The Lane, The Finale - messages from absent friends
14 May 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
What an incredible, emotional day we have ahead. Our final match at White Hart Lane, our home for 118 years. Unfortunately, some of the legendary figures of past and present will not be able to make it to The Lane, The Finale. Here are a few messages from those players whose heart will certainly be here today...
324 appearances, 2005-2014
"The first thing I would say would be ‘thank you’. I’m sure they would say the same to the players for some of those memories, like the Arsenal 5-1 or the 9-1 against Wigan. It’s an amazing feeling to walk out at White Hart Lane. I’ve so many amazing memories. Everyone loves playing there. Everyone will miss it, I certainly know that. It’s a special place and Spurs is a club I will always love for as long as I live."
149 appearances, 1997-2002
"There are so many boys out there who would say ‘I’d love to play for Tottenham’ and I’m living proof that dreams can come true. I can always remember the first time I played at Spurs, it was like ‘wow, this is White Hart Lane’ and walking out of the tunnel into the stadium, playing on the pitch, it was like a dream come true. I would say the one thing about this stadium is the atmosphere, when it’s jumping, it’s an incredible place to play football. For one last time, we have to experience that atmosphere again, recreate what White Hart Lane is all about for one last time. It’s what dreams are made of."
131 appearances, 1999-2003
"First of all, enjoy the day and love being part of the ‘old’ White Hart Lane, celebrate the team and the stadium and the Club. This Club is about you, the fans. I loved playing for you and our relationship was special, something I’ll never forget. So enjoy this memorable day and then look to a bright future. Be proud to be there, and celebrate the new stadium as well. Look forward. You have to move forward and the club is doing a fantastic job to build a new stadium."
112 appearances, 1988-1992
"First of all, sorry I can’t get there. I’d like to thank every one of you for one of the best times in my football career. The time I had at Spurs was phenomenal. The thing is, sometimes I wish I hated it, because then I wouldn’t miss it so much. I enjoyed every minute. I was excited to go out and train every day. My time at Spurs was one of the best ever. The worst thing is when I watch them I think about my time there and that’s a time I can never get back. So it’s just a massive thank you for everything the fans gave me and the club over the four years I had there and no doubt I’ll be there at the new stadium."
398 appearances, 1979-1990
"It’s nice to be able to think back to the old stadium, those great matches and so many wonderful experiences. I’ve been away for a good few years now, but once you are a Spurs man, you are always a Spurs man. It’s my club. Even though I might not go for a while, it’s always in my heart and once you go to White Hart Lane, it is forever with you."
68 appearances, 1994-1995, 1998
"For me, it was an unforgettable experience to play here. I’ve never felt the connection so deeply between the fans and the players in a stadium. You cannot describe the energy when you on the field. So the special memory is the people. You feel connected to Tottenham, the stadium and the area, you feel connected to everyone here and you try to win, try to score and the feeling is just so special. Of course, memories are of special goals and wins but what remains after that is the connection to the people here and that’s what I will always be thankful for."
373 appearances, 1964-1972
"The fans are very, very loyal. Last year, I met a fella who was 100 years old. I said to him ‘how long have you been supporting Tottenham?’ and he said ‘since I was four’. So he’d been supporting Spurs for 96 years. 96 years! I said tell me about those early years and he said ‘the first game I came to, I walked to the stadium with my dad and there was a man walking along with a red flag, and there was this machine behind him which they called a ‘car’, doing about three miles an hour!’. He also said that the memories he had of White Hart Lane were amazing. That’s what it is, these are the things you remember, of course it’s the cups, the finals, the great games – the last-ever game I played for Spurs, I scored in the UEFA Cup Final against Wolves and lifted the trophy, that’s a dream come true - but it’s also the camaraderie and support of the fans, that’s so special."
854 appearances, 1969-1986
"First of all, congratulations on your choice of Club. You are following a team that deserves to be followed. Keep all your energy pushing that Club forward with your voices, your commitment and your energy. I always remember the fans chanting Danny Thomas’ name walking back to the half-way line after he missed a penalty in the UEFA Cup Final against Anderlecht. How does that make the next penalty-taker feel? That’s the effect you can all have with your love for the Club. That doesn’t mean to say you have to agree with everything they do, but you have something worthwhile to follow. Stick with them and you will be repaid. There will be a bit of despair along the way but it’s a great, great Club with so much tradition - yet so much history about to be made."
200 appearances, 1983-1989
"What would I say to everyone? Wow. I think I can sum it all up in two words, and that’s ‘thank you’. It’s a fantastic football venue, great history and passionate fans and I was truly honoured to have spent the bulk of my playing career at that club and at that venue. It’s a stadium where you can feel there is something special about it and I’m sure where the new stadium will overlap with the old stadium, that’s something that will stay."
RAFAEL VAN DER VAART
77 appearances, 2010-2012
"It will be an emotional farewell for all of you. The end of an iconic stadium, a place of hope, dreams and memories will make place for a new one with hopefully the same aspirations. I wish all the very best for the fans and the team in the future and hope to visit Spurs again soon!"
64 appearances, 2008-2011
"I’d just say enjoy it, soak it all in, love that atmosphere again, savour it. It’s against Manchester United as well, what a game! White Hart Lane is a place that has given everyone so many memories but now it’s time to look to the future and hopefully the new stadium will bring more success in the future. I’m sure it will. I’m lucky, I’ve played there against Spurs but also when Spurs were my team, and that was special."
55 appearances, 2001-2004
"It was always a great time at White Hart Lane. I loved the atmosphere, the crowd and playing for this Club. I enjoyed every game and every single moment! It’s just a pity because of my injury I didn’t play enough at White Hart Lane. I’ll always remember my free-kick against Arsenal! Apart from my injury, it was a great time, fantastic, outstanding memories."